Friday, April 26, 2013

Observer in space and place

Normandie Plaza in the royal city of Fes in Morocco. The name is deceptive its not really a plaza but a cafe cum a restaurant. A coffee shop for hanging out or doing people watching. They have wifi here hence one can sit for any extended time to be connected to the virtual world.

It's busy here, seems like its an all men's club. Strong male voices speaking mainly in Arabic, with some French words thrown in their conversation. The street is lined with their cars. This could easily be a holiday coffee or breakfast meeting place or just a weekend time to catch up.

At a given time this can be a cafe anywhere. Women in jeans and pants, what is considered a western attire with no head scarf.

A young couple walks in, another few couples are seen scattered inside the many tables. I watch two heavy set women come out of their fancy car and I wonder will they attempt to come in, and yes they do. They find a table a little distance from the men.

This is me an observer watching and making my "observations", not wanting to turn them into a judgement. I keep my distance and observe. My seemingly uneaten
breakfast still on the table. I had ordered a traditional breakfast, an assortment of breads of different types with fresh juice and yogurt. Interesting time in Morocco to be eating all this as I am gluten and dairy free. A choice I made a year ago and found an incredible change in my health.

A country, it's culture and the society has to be taken in context of itself. Not from the context of ones own conditionings and experiences.
This is a society where the majority of women cover themselves from head to toe. Comes to mind a comment made by a young Moroccan. We had just finished being shown all the wonderful ways that argan is turned into oils, creams and a source of skin nurturing. The girl Fatima who was helping us, herself a young mother of a one year old boy. We asked her to use our scarves to tie into a hijab. When she was done she said, something like : " now the eyes of the men will not penetrate you"...later we discussed how we who do not cover ourselves "appropriately " are being viewed by both the men and the women.
We soon find ourselves draping our scarf over our head, to avoid the sun and the sand, or is it to mingle in, probably a combination.

This aboriginal saying comes to mind, I am "here to learn, to observe, to love, to grow, then I return home".

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